Suggested Answers to Short Global-Warming-Reset Quiz

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johnkarls
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Suggested Answers to Short Global-Warming-Reset Quiz

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Editorial Note = Much of the following information was assembled by Yours Truly when he was performing volunteer fundraising for the United Nations Environment Programme ("UNEP") at the personal request of the United Nations Under-Secretary General for the Environment.

Question 1

Is convincing decision makers and the public that global warming/climate change is man-made merely “getting to first base” in the struggle to take effective action? Are expense, competition, and international cooperation some of the additional barriers?

Answer 1

Yes. Yes.

Question 2

What was the Kyoto Protocol?

Answer 2

It was an international agreement reached in Kyoto, Japan, in early 1997 that each country ratifying the Protocol would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 2010 to 95% of its 1990 level.

Question 3

After international agreement was reached on the Kyoto Protocol, how many years remained in the Clinton Administration during which President Clinton refused to submit the Kyoto Protocol to the Senate for ratification?

Answer 3

The Kyoto Protocol was negotiated in early 1997, shortly after President Clinton’s inauguration for his second term. Accordingly, for more than three years, President Clinton refused to submit the Kyoto Protocol to the Senate for ratification.

Question 4

Why did President Clinton refuse to ever submit the Kyoto Protocol to the Senate for ratification?

Answer 4

The U.S. Senate had voted 95-0 before Vice President Al Gore, our chief negotiator, left for Kyoto that he should not agree to anything which exempted India or China.

And the U.S. Senate had also voted 95-0 that Al Gore should not agree to anything that impacted adversely the U.S. standard of living.

Al Gore agreed to the Kyoto Protocol even though it exempted both India and China.

In addition, upon his return the U.S. Department of Energy’s econometric model of the U.S. economy determined that adherence to the Kyoto Protocol would have reduced the U.S. standard of living by 30%.

Question 5

How did the European countries view the Kyoto Protocol?

Answer 5

European governments viewed the Kyoto Protocol as a way of convincing their citizens to unknowingly approve of sending massive aid to Russia (so that it would not slip back into another Cold War) as payment for “pollution rights.”

By way of background, the Kyoto Protocol permitted a participating country to reach 95% of its 1990 level of greenhouse gas emissions by taking into account “pollution rights” purchased from countries that were already below 95% of their 1990 levels.

Following the collapse of the old Soviet Union in 1989, the Russian economy had gone into a tailspin in the early 1990’s. When the Kyoto Protocol was negotiated in 1997, the Russian economy was a “basket case” as a result of which its greenhouse gas emissions were substantially below its 1990 levels so it had virtually-unlimited amounts of “pollution rights” to sell.

Question 6

Is it ironic that European governments viewed the Kyoto Protocol as a way of convincing their citizens to unknowingly approve of sending massive aid to Russia (so that it would not slip back into another Cold War) as payment for “pollution rights” while Russia, which was the last country that as a practical matter could approve the Kyoto Protocol and provide the necessary number of approving countries to put it into effect, was refusing for more than a year to approve it because President Putin was extorting additional money from Europe on the grounds that global warming was beneficial to Russia because it increased the agricultural growing season in Siberia?

Answer 6

Yes.

Question 7

Did Europe’s “cap and trade” system have any effect on restraining greenhouse-gas emissions?

Answer 7

No.

Because as soon as the “pollution rights” acquired by European countries from Russia began to prove inadequate to permit “business as usual” without violating the Kyoto Protocol, the European Union took the view that “pollution rights” could be acquired from any country in the world!!!

Accordingly, Europeans simply employed pollution-right explorationists to scour the world for “pollution rights” in order to keep the price of “pollution rights” low while continuing to increase their carbon emissions in a business-as-usual mode.

Question 8

Why did Senate Democrats kill President Obama’s “cap and trade” proposal?

Answer 8

Senate Democrats, particularly those from the “Rust Belt,” believed President Obama’s “cap and trade” tax (it was a “tax” because U.S. “pollution rights” would have been created and sold by the U.S. government with the government pocketing the sales proceeds) would have bankrupted many U.S. companies and placed many of the remainder at a severe disadvantage vis-à-vis foreign competitors.

Question 9

Whenever we have discussed global warming in the past, Yours Truly has always asked whether anyone is in favor of invading China militarily to prevent them from constructing coal-fired electric plants at the rate of one/day -- nobody has ever responded affirmatively, but has anyone changed her/his mind?

Answer 9

For many years, China has constructed coal-fired electricity-generation mega-plants at the rate of one/day.

So has anyone changed her/his mind about invading China militarily???

Question 10

Is it likely that there will ever be a solution to global warming that will be adopted by all of the world’s nations unless that solution involves an energy source that is cheaper than carbon fuels?

Answer 10

Of course not.

Just like U.S. Senate Democrats, no country wants to ruin its own economy as China and other countries reap competitive advantages while rendering futile the attempt of the “chump” countries to reduce global warming.

Question 11

What was the “hydrogen economy” that was trumpeted by the second President Bush and others?

Answer 11

The “hydrogen economy” was really a euphemism for a nuclear economy. Because the only way to obtain hydrogen in sufficient quantities to power the economy is by using nuclear power to obtain the hydrogen (H2) by using nuclear-generated electricity to break apart water molecules (2H2O > 2H2 + O2).

[Politicians obviously thought the euphemism was clever because few Americans remember the spectacular Hindenburg dirigible conflagration in 1937, and public misgivings about naming the program a “nuclear economy” might prove fatal to the success of the project.]

Nuclear power, as we have studied in the past, produces no greenhouse-gas emissions and, unlike other carbon-free fuels such as solar and wind, is economical.

Question 12

What was the “hydrogen highway” in Europe? In California?

Answer 12

By the early 2000’s, the governments of both Europe and California had constructed a network of hydrogen-fueling stations that permitted hydrogen-powered cars to travel vast distances.

Several manufacturers, such as BMW, sold standard models whose engines had been tweaked to run on hydrogen or, in the case of the BMW models, on either gasoline or hydrogen depending on availability at the moment/locality,

Question 13

Why did President Obama turn his back on Europe and California, and take the U.S. down the dead-end road of battery-powered cars, rather than hydrogen-powered cars?

Answer 13

God only knows!!!

Incidentally, as we have studied in the past, 100% electric cars such as the Chevrolet Volt are an environmental disaster if there is taken into account the pollution of the coal-fired electric utilities in creating the electricity that is used.

Accordingly, an economist or cost accountant or anyone else with any common sense, would conclude that sales of 100% electric cars such as the Chevrolet Volt should be banned until the last coal-fired electric plant (and perhaps even the last electric plant fired by natural gas) has left the nation’s electricity grid.

In other words, 100% electric cars do not make sense from an environmental viewpoint until 100% of the nation’s electricity generation derives from carbon-free sources, such as nuclear.

Therefore, the environmental rationale for 100% electric cars is based on nuclear power (or, if they ever become economic, solar and/or wind) -- THE SAME AS THE BASIS FOR THE “HYDROGEN ECONOMY”!!!

It should be noted that the foregoing environmental comments about 100% electric cars do NOT apply to hybrids. Hybrids capture waste heat from their gasoline engines which is then converted by a generator to electricity which can be used to power the vehicle’s electric engine (hybrids have two engines, gasoline and electric).

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Considerable additional information is available on this bulletin board for our 7/13/2011 meeting on “America’s Climate Problem: The Way Forward” by Robert Repetto. Please see the Q&A’s for that meeting posted under “Participant Comments.”

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